The fast- and thermal-neutron fluence rates from a 3.7 ??g 252Cf neutron source in a simulated borehole have been measured as a function of the source-to-detector distance using air, water, coal, iron ore-concrete mix, and dry sand as borehole media. Gamma-ray intensity measurements were made for specific spectral lines at low and high energies for the same range of source-to-detector distances in the iron ore-concrete mix and in coal. Integral gamma-ray counts across the entire spectrum were also made at each source-to-detector distance. From these data, the specific neutron-damage rate, and the critical count-rate criteria, we show that in an iron ore-concrete mix (low hydrogen concentration), 252Cf neutron sources of 2-40 ??g are suitable. The source size required for optimum gamma-ray sensitivity depends on the energy of the gamma ray being measured. In a hydrogeneous medium such as coal, similar measurements were made. The results show that sources from 2 to 20 ??g are suitable to obtain the highest gamma-ray sensitivity, again depending on the energy of the gamma ray being measured. In a hydrogeneous medium, significant improvement in sensitivity can be achieved by using faster electronics; in iron ore, it cannot. ?? 1979 North-Holland Publishing Co.
Additional publication details
Determination of the optimum-size californium-252 neutron source for borehole capture gamma-ray analysis